Teacher Training: Implementing The Next Generation Sunshine State Science Standards In the Classroom

By on April 29, 2010 in Teacher Training Workshops
Just back from conducting teacher training in a rural county in Florida. The challenge was developing a customized workshop to span 7 grade levels of science content. My primary goals were to introduce the teachers to affective inquiry-based investigations to teach the Next Generation Sunshine State Science Standards in the science classroom, as well as presenting techniques for developing critical thinking skills within their students. The teacher participants consisted of several 5th grade elementary science teachers, middle school and high school science teachers. For six hours the teachers were immersed in  hands-on-minds-on investigations that were directly correlated to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Science Standards. Teachers conducted hands-on-minds-on investigations that covered concepts in all four Bodies of Knowledge: The Nature of Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, and Life Science. A key component of the workshop was applying critical thinking skills to each hands-on investigation undertaken by the teacher participants. Key concepts and terms explored through hands-on-minds-on investigations included: nature of matter, earth structures, erosion, weathering, convection currents, interdependence, interconnectedness, characteristics of light waves, spectroscopes, bottle biology models, seed dispersal, plant and animal kingdom, adaptations, Newton’s Laws of Motion, physical and chemical changes, and mixtures and solutions. Teachers designed and constructed numerous models that they brought back with them to their classrooms. It was a great group of teachers, and the administrative support in organizing my visit was wonderful as well. I believe the teachers gained a great deal from their experience. Teacher participants left enlightened, energized, and motivated. I hope to revisit this county again with additional training. As always professional staff development must be an on-going process in every district and school.
Teacher training

Teacher observes an aquatic bottle biology ecosystem.

Teacher training

Inside of a bottle biology ecosystem.

Teacher training

A teacher displays their terrestrial bottle biology ecosystem

Teacher training

Teachers display their terrestrial bottle biology ecosystems.

Teacher training

Teachers construct bottle biology ecosystems.

Teacher training

Teachers gather materials to make a bottle biology ecosystem.

Teacher training

Earthworms, pillbugs, and snails were added to the bottle biology ecosystems.

Teacher training

A coconut was used to teach critical thinking skills and higher order questioning strategies.

Teacher training

Observing the visible spectrum with a spectroscope.

Teacher training

Teachers observe the visible spectrum with a spectroscope.

Teacher training

Teacher observes the visible spectrum with a spectroscope during teacher training workshop.

Teacher training

Inside of a bottle biology ecosystem.

Teacher training

Teachers explored Newton's Laws of Motion

Teacher training

Teachers explored Newton's Laws of Motion with toy cars and ramps

Teacher training

Teachers tested helicopter models outside.

Teacher training

Testing daVinci Helical Screw Helicopter Teachers observed and analyzed sea beans during teacher training.

Teacher training

Vinegar is placed on a limestone rock to observe chemical weathering.

Teacher training

Teachers obtained mass of coquina rock with balance.

Teacher training

Teacher uses an eye loupe to observe coquina rock.

Teacher training

Teachers integrated mathematical skills during teacher training.

Teacher training

Hair dryer and beach sand used to demonstrate erosion.

Teacher training

Observing the viscosity of cornstarch and water.

Teacher training

Teachers used beach sand and water to demonstrate erosion.

Teacher training

Teachers made mantle mud to model the characteristics of Earth's mantle

Teacher training

Teachers made silly putty to model the asthenosphere, also to demonstrate a chemical change.